Monday, April 24, 2017

IN defense of cherries as Cherry Blossom Time-Part II

The next day was class, Suzanne Gordon  encouraged us to tell our nursing stories.  She said that while nursing believes that the public trusts we do not believe that they know what we do.  Nor do they know what value we bring because the billing system is set up to hide our value.  She said that we can change this by telling our stories, and I believe that this is true.  

Here is mine:
"I work with a  team of specially trained nurses who provides forensic nursing care to victims of violence.  We provide care 24 hours a day 7 days a week within the emergency departments at Franciscan Alliance -  Indianapolis.  Our medical forensic exam includes a forensic history, so that we can address any injuries or potential sexually transmitted disease issue, and create a safety plan  for the patient when she leaves.  We collected samples, potentially for evidence, on all patients, even those who do not want to go to the police which leaves the patient in control of the situation longer.  We know  from the Adverse Childhood Experiences study that our care makes a difference in quality of life, amount care that may be needed in the future, even longevity of life."
II am sure it can be "tightened up"  but it is a start!
The afternoon was spent learning how to talk to the media, again how to tell our stories and make forensic nursing shine!  
Some alarming/interesting  facts were:
- 90% of all data in the world has been generated in the lst 2 year
- The average american consumes 12 hours /day outside of work
- 28% of workers time is spent dealing with emails
- Typical internet user is exposed to  1707 banner ads
- The average internet user used touches his /her smart 2617x/day,  heaviest 5427x/day 
 - 6 in 10 Americans get their news from Social Media, most get their news on one site only and Facebook is #1
WOW, this was amazing stuff.  Clearly we need to be smart about where our facts come from, (reminds me of Evidence Based Practice so this should be easy for us!), that we should know our media out lets and incorporate a variety of "fact" sources.  This consumption of media though, is  obviously an opportunity for us to have a stronger voice as Forensic Nurses! 
That evening we attempted to dine a a place called Filomena, without success.   We took the Metro to Georgetown, or the closest stop and walked a ways.  Georgetown is always interesting and we moseyed around after our unsuccessful attempt at Filomenas,  We we stoked up for Italian though and ended up at another place, Cathy was pretty happy with her Seafood Pasta dish, it was rolling in Lobster, but my Mushroom ravioli, though beautifully prepared, were missing something, Thyme I think.  Regardless, while we were there it began raining which inspired to to try Uber.  Both us were Uber virgins and this was an adventure, and boy was it!  Our driver was ( to quote my mother) different sort of girl.  Sort of an adult modern day Pippi Longstocking who was willing to bare her soul to a car full of 2 forensic nurses and 22 oriental non English speaking folks.  I would have LOVED to know that was going though our companions minds.  Well maybe not.     We arrived safely though, and she helped me make a decision about cooking classes in Paris, she is a chef in her day job.  High on our "Uber"" success I attempted to make reservations for the morning to go to the Hill.  However it still had not been picked up in the morning and we had to ask for help.  We ddid get a ride, which we shared with a nurse from Pennsylvania, so we had an interesting discussion about her practice, moving form one state to another and her business.

Once there IAFN Lobbyist Patric Cooney presented Washington 101 ( my title).  Which prepared us some to go forth and conquer.  We had an 11:30 appointment with Senator Donnelly's aid, Nicola Bunick.  Where we laid out our agenda of Support for reauthorizing the Violence against Women's Act, The Nursing Workforce and Development Programs, and urging our congress to address the ongoing epidemic of college campus sexual assault.  Meetings were quick, She was attentive. 

  From there we hoofed it to the other side of the Capitol, to meet with Trey Hollingsworth.  Actually we did get to meet with him, but briefly he left us in the capable hands of his aid as well. He was personable and interested, the only one of the bunch we actually got to meet in person.  We dined in the Longworth building,  not nutritionally uplifting.  It was an environment of chaos.  I would be skinny if I worked there.

Lastly we  hiked back to the other side of the capitol ( It would have been a bit more comfortable if we could have been hiking in more casual attire, the shoes, the shoes.....) to the Senate side, to meet with Dr Young's aid.  On the way to the Senate side, we ran into Kathy Secula taking a break and we had the opportunity to chat with her.  

Cathy and I, both felt that the time spent was worth it, that we learned a huge amount about how our government works and that we do have a voice and need to use it.  We hope to return to the Hill nest year ( we agreed to start saving our pennies) and accompany more Forensic Nurse Hoosiers to the IAFN Lobby Day on the Hill.  

Friday, April 21, 2017

IN defense of cherries as Cherry Blossom Time

As a Forensic Nurse one is always talking about Hymens, AKA cherries.  So it is a bit ironic that I went to Washington to talk to our legislators about Sexual Violence and IPV during Cherry Blossom time.
We left very early on Sunday to explore.  I have had the privilege of visiting Washington DC a few times before, my friend Cathy had not.  My only agenda was to see the cherry Blossoms, but I had heard various status reports, "blooming and beautiful" to "not going to happen" because of the flukey weather.  We arrived, found the shuttle to the Hotel, the Sheraton Old Town Alexandria, dropped off our luggage, shuttled back to Reagan National, and then metroed to the Mall.    

There is an omnipresence of the Washington Monument, similar to The Eiffel Tower and it takes my breath way.  We walked around the Monument, I showed Cathy the Trump shunned White House, in the distance.

'We visited the WWII memorial, found the Indiana column and moved on to the Vietnam Memorial  There  a bystander told me about a site to find folks on the wall. Last time I was in DC, I fruitlessly searched for Mom's cousin Howard Vendenacre.  This time with the assistance of  the App, I found his name on the wall!   

Managing a picture was a challenge with the sun and the surface of the "Wall" The nurses memorial always moves me, and this time was no different, we were both on the verge of tears.  

Humans were swarming the Lincoln Memorial, all of the diversity present seemed a fulfillment of Lincoln's work.  From there we walked to the memorial for the Korean Conflict.  Sometimes it seem that one can be  a day late and a dollar short ant this was my moment.  There was a bent elderly man in a wheel chair that family had rolled up in front of the memorial sign to take pictures.  By the time I got my act together and phone out, they were moving, but what a powerful picture.  The men who so bravely served our country are dying off at an alarming rate.  

We veered around to the Tidal Basin to see the Martin Luther King Memorial and not only did we get to see this new memorial, but also there were the Cherry Trees in  FULL BLOOM!  I was not sure which to be most impressed with.  The memorial has quotes from King on a granite wall that faces the basin with a large statue of him "coming" out of  granite.  The Cherry trees, a gift of 3000 trees from Japan in 1912 surround the Tidal Basin and are not only lovely, but also loved.  

Walking the path in an attempt to enjoy was almost a chaotic as driving around the Arc de Triomphe  in Paris!  From there we decided that a trip to the art museum  was in order and it was no chore to agree!  After "culture"we were both worn out but French was on the menu which of course kept me going.  So we headed to Bistro Du Coin for dinner.  IT was a hard choice between the house steak and Steak Tartare, but I was cold and Paris in looming on the horizon so I chose the house steak with bĂ©arnaise..  It was delish!